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Crating, barking and the neighbors

Ryanh
August 3rd, 2006, 08:24 AM
I know I already had a thread going on the issue of crating, but this I thought was different.

Maddox my lab/pit mix of 9months hates being put in the crate or just being left alone in a room, it seems he has separation anxiety. He seems to be making progress in the crating at night, last night was the first night we put him in there with no fuss on his end, just silence...its was nice:thumbs up , but in the morning when we head off to work I put him in the crate with it closed, gave him his food/water/crew toy, kong w/peanut butter in it, but as soon as I walked away he just barked non-stop. I sat outside and could hear him through the windows, 10mins later and no end to it so I rang our neighbors doorbell hoping they weren't home (townhouse,shared wall), but they were and she told me she starting to yell back at him to stop....she didn't know I was still home, they are really nice neighbors, her hubby and I shoot the **** all the time, but I know she has little patience for Maddox barking.
So I went back inside, scolded him for barking and then let him out of the crate once he quieted down, but closed the bedroom door which is what i have been doing previously. As soon as I left he did the whining, scratching the carpet, door, jumping around the room and generally acting like its the end of the world and he has to get out of this room to save his life. Eventually I just left since I could see he was not barking, just whining alot.
I know we have only had Maddox for a month now, but still we cannot leave him in his crate during the day without the barking and absolute panic he seems to show thinking we are never coming back. We have done everything to get him used to the crate and he seems to be fine with it as long as the door is open, but as soon as we leave all hell breaks loose.

I have contacted a trainer and she didn't really have any help to offer with resolving the barking. My thought was a muzzle, but with the heat lately and his need to pant to keep cool I am worried that might be a bad idea.

Any advice would be great.

jessi76
August 3rd, 2006, 09:11 AM
I know we have only had Maddox for a month now, but still we cannot leave him in his crate during the day without the barking and absolute panic he seems to show thinking we are never coming back. We have done everything to get him used to the crate and he seems to be fine with it as long as the door is open, but as soon as we leave all hell breaks loose.

it may help to build up to quiet crate time. put him in, close the door, when he's quiet - give a treat/praise. so he associates QUIET behavior with TREATS & PRAISE. Once you do that a bunch of times, and he seems to make the connection, leave the house for 30 seconds, come back in, as soon as he's NOT BARKING, give a treat. repeat this, over and over, gradually building up the time you are out of the house. The weekend is upon us, so it'd be a great time to practice this. remember, always end on a positive note.

I have contacted a trainer and she didn't really have any help to offer with resolving the barking. My thought was a muzzle, but with the heat lately and his need to pant to keep cool I am worried that might be a bad idea.

NEVER muzzle a crated dog. A dog shouldn't even have a collar on in a crate.

also, a REALLY TIRED DOG is generally a good dog. have you tried really exhausting him before you crate him? so he could possibly settle down for a nap?

as for your neighbor, perhaps offer a peace gift. Maybe a pair of movie passes (or similar thoughtful gift) w/ a note saying you appreciate their understanding and patience as you take the time to train Maddox to settle down.

Ryanh
August 3rd, 2006, 09:27 AM
We have been praising him when he is quiet, but no treats, I'll give it a try.

Burning off energy in the morning can only go so far, this morning I ran with him for a bit and threw a knot rope around for him which seemed to tire him out, but nothing seems to tire him out, he's ready to go in a couple mintues.

jessi76
August 3rd, 2006, 09:44 AM
another idea - is a FROZEN kong. it takes the dog longer to get to the good stuff! I frequently use non-fat plain yogurt mixed w/ peanut butter. put some kibble in the small hole to prevent the mixture from oozing out. then fill, place in a cup (incase of ooze) and freeze overnight.

I forgot to say it's really great to hear that the night time crating is going better! you're obviously on the right track!

Puppyluv
August 3rd, 2006, 09:57 AM
I agree with tiring him out. When I first crate-trained my girl, who had serious separation anxiety, I would run her about 12 km every morning before crating her, and it made all the difference. A tired dog is a quiet dog, and honestly, it's worth getting up an hour earlier than normal for the sanity and peace of mind.

Ryanh
August 3rd, 2006, 10:30 AM
I agree with tiring him out. When I first crate-trained my girl, who had serious separation anxiety, I would run her about 12 km every morning before crating her, and it made all the difference. A tired dog is a quiet dog, and honestly, it's worth getting up an hour earlier than normal for the sanity and peace of mind.

12km!! holy!! when i used to jog I did 1 mile and I was done. Me getting up an hour early is easier said then done... not a morning person.
I'll try to start joggin again, but this crazy heat isn't the best incentive to start joggin again.

phoenix
August 3rd, 2006, 10:47 AM
How long is your dog crated?

All day while you're gone AND all night sounds like a long time for a labx at 9 months to spend in a crate. He needs lots of exercise and stimulation at this age.

Dog Dancer
August 3rd, 2006, 12:11 PM
Hi Ryan, I am by no means an expert on any of this, but if I'm not mistaken you must also take care if you decide to run/jog with the dog how much stress you are putting on his joints. He is still very young and there can be some risk in running a young, large breed dog. Also if the heat is an issue for you it will also be one for the dog. Take water for him and watch he doesn't get overheated.

My Akita cross never adjusted to a crate and suffers from separation anxiety and has been diagnosed with claustrophobia as well. I couldn't even crate her when she was sedated! If your boy is okay in the crate at night it sounds like you will just have to keep working it out during the day, but despite our best efforts not all dogs can be crated - and do not muzzle in the crate.

Keep a good friendship with the neighbours - it will help you in the long run. Good luck.

tenderfoot
August 3rd, 2006, 12:11 PM
I think this is too much crate time for a young energetic pup. If you are crating during the day then don't crate at night. You could be setting him up for some serious sensory deprivation consequences. At night he can be in your room with the door closed or just tie him to your bed on a 2 foot leash (long enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down again - but not get into trouble).

Doing lots of obedience with him would be great too. A tired mind sleeps soundly!

Having this pup means planning to take the time to engage his mind and body. Can you set up play dates with neighbors dogs? or find a GOOD doggie daycare? This boy needs to be busy in order to be happy.

Puppyluv
August 3rd, 2006, 02:42 PM
Agreed Dog Dancer, before I started running my dog, I had knee x-rays done, and did not start running her until her plates had fused. I still have x-rays done 3-4 times a year to keep a tab on her joints. I agree that the weather is no incentive to run, but let me personally tell you how gorgeous it is out before the sun has risen!!! I was running this morning at 4 and my what a difference in temperature it is!!!

I agree that it might be a bit too much crating, especially for a dog who doesn't like his crate yet. Layla loves her crate and will go there quite often if the door is left open, but since he doesn't like it that much, I would reduce the time spent in it until you've made it his "haven".